World Safety

George Bush has abandoned the campaign contention that John Kerry flip-flops on the issues. Instead, Bush now says just the opposite – that Kerry votes on the same side (the liberal side), no matter what the issue. Would you call Bush’s change on this a flip-flop?

The Bush campaign is also congratulating itself on the “elections” in Iraq next month, as well as the elections just completed in Afghanistan. It’s probably just a coincidence that the U.S.-backed candidate won the Afghan Presidency (just like the Communists always seemed to win the elections in Eastern Europe). And it’s also probably just a coincidence that the Iraqi elections come after the U.S. election – so that when the Shiites win the elections and transform Hussein’s secular state into another Fundamentalist Islamic nation, similar to Iran, it will be too late to contradict Bush’s campaign rhetoric that “freedom is on the march.”

But Bush’s #1 mantra, which he repeats endlessly and tiresomely is that “America and the world are safer with Saddam Hussein gone.” However, this is just as much a lie as Bush’s allegations about Hussein’s dangerous weapons, mobile laboratories, aluminum tubes, unmanned aircraft that could carry WMDs to America’s east coast, ballistic missiles that could threaten the whole Middle East, uranium purchases in Africa, Al-Qaeda training camps in Iraq, and Hussein kicking the UN inspectors out of Iraq.

The world is not a safer place. George Bush’s arrogant, heavy-handed invasions of two countries have undoubtedly caused the recruitment not only of thousands of more terrorists, but also millions more supporters of terrorism around the world. I’d hardly call that making the world a safer place.

Libertarians for Bush: Here is an amalgamation of two emails I’ve received. . . .

At least four celebrity libertarians that I know of, at least some of whom are Libertarian Party members, have issued statements of support for the reelection of George Bush. They urge libertarians to vote for Bush, instead of voting Libertarian. I know you don’t agree with them, but I do.

While too many libertarians keep their heads in the sand, George Bush has stood up to terrorists and is taking steps to fight them.

There has been throughout history, and continues uninterrupted today, hordes of people who need no more excuse than their own bloodthirsty and genocidal impulses to aggress on others. Think about the sort of being that enjoys slowly sawing off the head of someone else. Think of Hitler’s concentration camps and gas chambers. Think of Stalin’s gulags. Think of Mao’s mass starvation. Think of Pol Pot’s killing fields. Did they do these things because they had legitimate grievances?

I don’t know. Do the people inside America – who kidnap, torture, and kill other people – have legitimate grievances? Should we start bombing New York? Chicago? Washington, D.C.? – to get rid of the thugs inside America?

What I do know is that there always have been and always will be thugs in the world. Mostly those thugs are feared and condemned by respectable people. But when millions of people – well-meaning, relatively decent people – give their support to those thugs – as they did with Hitler and as they are today with the terrorists – you know that there are legitimate grievances that allow the thugs to command the respect of others. To whatever extent you dismiss those grievances, you multiply the support given to the thugs. What the thugs are doing is wrong – just as it was wrong to commit the acts that created the legitimate grievances.

There are two possible courses of action available to America – and I sincerely hope you will think long and hard about these two possibilities:

Choice #1: You can try to stamp out the thugs, which is impossible, if the history of the world is any guide whatsoever. That means that the so-called War on Terror will continue for the rest of our lives. And for the rest of our lives we will be subject to humiliating searches at airports, to our email being monitored, to warrantless searches and seizures, to wire-tapping. And what we must put up with today is just the beginning, because every time there’s another terrorist act (anywhere in the world, such as the Chechen attack in Russia), the invasions into our lives will be expanded and expanded and expanded.

Choice #2: You can change American foreign policy.

Stop the U.S. government from invading other countries.

Stop the U.S. government from supporting dozens of dictators around the world.

Stop the U.S. government from having the world’s largest national offense, but absolutely no national defense.

Stop the U.S. government from telling other countries “you’re either with us or against us.”

Stop the U.S. government from meddling in the affairs of other countries.

Stop the U.S. government from stationing troops in 702 bases in over a hundred foreign countries.

Stop the U.S. government from bribing foreign governments with your tax money.

This won’t bring peace to the whole world (and neither will choice #1). But it will bring relative peace to America, and allow it to once again be a nation of liberty – proud of the Bill of Rights and the freedoms Americans enjoy, rather than obsessed with security.

Do you really want to live in an expanding police state for the rest of your life?

October 28, 2004